Creativity, Education, Events, Music, News, Regional Transformation

Andy Warhol exhibit opens at Cranbrook

Warhol album covers

Love Andy Warhol? Here’s your chance to get peek at some of his never-seen-before work when Warhol on Vinyl: The Record Covers 1949-1987 opens at the Cranbrook Art Museum this Saturday, June 21.

It’s the world-premiere of five recently discovered Warhol-designed albums from the 1950s. See every cover from the iconic Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers to the extremely rare Giant Size $1.57 Each, his first pop art record cover.


Andy Warhol

There will even be listening booths to help round out and deepen the experience.  The musical genres include rock, classical, opera, jazz, soul and experimental. The exhibit runs until March 15, 2015.

“Andy Warhol, who, although undeniably iconic, is not known for his designs for record covers,” said Gregory Wittkopp, director of Cranbrook Art Museum and the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research. “His story is one that can only be told here at Cranbrook. With the recent gift of this collection from Frank Edwards and Ann Williams, Cranbrook Art Museum now has the world’s most comprehensive collection of Warhol’s record covers, including several covers that have never been seen publicly.”

That’s just one of the exhibits that will open summer at Cranbrook.

“This summer we are illuminating some of the lesser-known stories of mid-century modernism, including two designers who studied or taught at Cranbrook … Paul Evans and Ken Isaacs,” says Wittkopp.  “Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism will be a homecoming of sorts.”

The work of Paul Evans

The work of Paul Evans

Evans studied metalsmithing at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. There will be 68 pieces on display, which include early works in jewelry and metal work as well as a comprehensive selection of his studio work in sculpted steel, verdigris copper, copper, bronze and pewter, argenté sculpted bronze, and cityscape techniques. The show will also include examples of his sculpture and a selection of work he produced for Directional Furniture Company. Evans played a major role in the mid-century American studio furniture movement, which looked at furniture as sculpture and abstract composition.

In a new documentary, musician Lenny Kravitz says the work of Paul Evans is, “stunningly beautiful, stunningly ugly, stunningly tacky, stunningly sophisticated.”

Another Cranbrook alumnus will step into the spotlight with Culture Breakers: The Living Structures of Ken Isaacs.  The living sculptures that gave Isaacs his claim to fame are hand-made, low-cost, multifunctional furniture pieces, which challenge how people sit, live and work in their homes.

Ken Issacs and his work

Ken Issacs and his work

Isaacs was a student and head of the Design Department during his time at Cranbrook in the 1950s. His influence on the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s will be showcased.  Works on paper, photographs, film, architectural models and several living structures will be onsite. That show runs from June 21-October 5.

From June 21-November 30 Cranbrook goes to the movies with Movies: Films and Their Objects 1925-1975. That exhibit looks at the relationship between Cranbrook and film and how Cranbrook founders George and Ellen Booth realized their dream of an art, science and education centered community.  The vintage films feature people and objects that are part of the school’s history.

Cranbrook on film

Cranbrook on film

Cranbrook’s social life in the 20th century is depicted by Epemeera: Fragments of Cranbrook’s Social Life. Family and alumni reunions, school athletic events and much more provide the printed materials from the in-depth records allow a look beyond just the facts and figures.

The social trends of modernism are explored in Modern/ Moderna: Amie Siegel and Terrence Gower. 

Cranbrook Art Museum

Cranbrook Art Museum

Sunday, June 22 is PNC Bank Fun Day Celebration.  The day will offer music, food and crafts to celebrate the summer openings. The schedule includes:

  • 11:00 am – 5:00 pm: Museum open to the public
  • 11:30 am – 5:00 pm: Sugar Magnolia’s food truck will be serving sweets
  • 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm: Thumbs Up! Michigan’s premier ukulele band will perform covers of Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground
  • 1:00 am – 4:00 pm: Get inspired by Warhol On Vinyl and then watch as your limited-edition Cranbrook/Warhol T-shirt is made. Academy graduate Wes Taylor will operate a six-arm T-shirt press while you watch. Extra cost for the purchase of the shirt
  • 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm: Tour the Art Deco masterwork Saarinen House.
  • Noon, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm: Take an Exhibition Highlight Tour of our new shows

The museum is open in June, July and August, Wednesday-Friday from 11:00 am-5:00 pm with an $8.00 entry fee for the general public.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *